Homophobia in hip hop: An open letter to Central Cee

Last year, Central Cee insulted gay people. Later, he said, “I oppose homophobia”. The controversy a year later: my thoughts.

By Michael Hartmann. July 7, 2023

How can I be homophobic?My bitch is gayHit man in the topTry see a man topless, even the stick is gayHuggin’ my bruddas and say that I love themBut I don’t swing that way

Yup, that’s Central Cee rapping away. Doja was released last year. There was more to the song than beats and lyrics.

Here are my thoughts on the controversy that followed, one year later, formulated as an open letter to the British rapper.

Central Cee,

Nothing makes my heart happier than watching aspiring singers developing their craft, growing their fan base, and, through dedication and commitment to hard work, breaking through and making it big. I wish you well, I really do.

However, I have developed a fine-tuned antenna for artists who reach out to gay people as part of a marketing plan. These deliberate actions are often disguised with the appearance of a person who – if called out – denies any attempt at insulting gay people.

Making homophobic slurs, or saying things that can be interpreted that way, is nothing more than a way to get noticed by the gay crowd.

Your song Doja got the attention of Attitude magazine. You were interviewed about the lyrics.

The magazine did the right thing. At the same time, such interviews give you a platform trusted by the queer community, an opportunity to “apology” and make remarks about lyrics that can be misunderstood.

It’s like slapping someone in the face and asking for money.

I don’t think you support gay rights. If you did, you wouldn’t have claimed to be a gay ally after being called out about your lyrics.

I think you want gay people to buy tickets and stream your music. But first, you had to insult them, not in an obvious way, but enough to get their attention. It’s like slapping someone in the face and asking for money.

As a person of color, I expect that you face the same judgment and prejudice towards you as gay people do. How can we fight discrimination if we start attacking each other?

The hip-hop culture is known for its homophobia. One example is Da Baby, who made homophobic slurs during his concert at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida in 2021.

I’m not a homophobe, but…

As minorities, we have a moral obligation to support each other. I’ll do it for you, but you won’t return the favor. Instead, you insulted the members of my community. Claiming to be sensitive to gay rights in your interview with Attitude Magazine simply doesn’t work.

Claiming not to be homophobic because your b”*tch is gay, is a cheap stunt.

You have probably heard white people starting a conversation like this: “I’m not a racist, but…”

I have listened to politicians who try to hide their homophobia, saying “I’m not homophobic, but…”

What will be next? “How can I be against women’s rights? My friend is female”?

You get the point.

Here’s mine:

How can I be racist? My b*tch is black.

Related story:  Bargasm The Cypher. Nine openly queer artists join forces in a rap collaboration that highlights queer excellence.

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Michael Hartmann is a Norwegian music blogger and the owner of coverstory.no. 

Contact Michael